All posts filed under: Travel

Day Five: Crickets

It must be a funny thing, to live with the constant hum of crickets – like tinnitus, I suppose. A long time today I sat listening to those crickets, under the shade of the old olive trees in the garden. We’ve been slow and sluggish today – fragile from devilishly strong wine, bottled like vegetable oil and sold for €2 a piece. We tried to drive up Mount Aenos in the morning, but it was hot and we kept on getting lost on roads that turned into gravel tracks. Up in the hills we passed a crumbling village – little left but walls falling in on themselves and one stark white church – its garden swept and walls freshly painted. I wonder how many people ever hear its bell, considering the only inhabitants we found were mountain goats and a skinny dog. In the end, we gave the day to the heat, and only when the sun began to set did we venture to our cove for a swim. Hair still damp and skin salty, we Read More

Day Four: Skala

Skala reminds me of holidays as a child, in Spain, where you pay €6 for a pair of sunbeds and stay there all day. We do just that. The sea is calm and flat, and the salt hums like crickets. Shoals of silver fish swim between my feet, so perfectly blended into the ripples of the water that I wonder whether they’re there at all. There is something very still about this place, almost lifeless. I wander round the souvenir shops and find all the pieces of beloved tat that lined my bedroom shelves as a kid. Gifts brought back from places exactly like this – a too small pair of slippers (pom poms and all),  a puffa fish hanging from a piece of string, a tiny ceramic pot decorated with pictures of the gods – I already know what the perfume balm smells like before I open it. Part of me wants to buy it all. Even the slice of Kefalonian Kataifi – a type of baklava – takes me back to a holiday to Turkey aged six, Read More

Day Three: Fiscardo

We wind our way along Kefalonia’s western coast, toing and froing from the ocean to the rocky headland, and after two hours of hairpin bends, we arrive at Fiscardo – one of the few towns left unscathed by the 1953 earthquake. The houses, built during the 300-year Venetian rule, are all pink and pastel blue. I fall in love instantly. We set up camp at Emblisi beach and decide that it’s paradise. But by the time we head back to Fiscardo, the yachts and flocks of rich tourists have arrived. To home. Here, the buildings aren’t more than 50 years old, but the sea’s just as blue. And there’s something in the olive groves – knotted and a little wild, that I’ve come to love. The thing I think I’ll remember best is the green of the olive trees against the blue of the sea. Khaki against turquoise, deep and clear, mottled like a seal’s back. We eat at the Taverna by the nearby beach. Courgette fritters, a slab of homemade feta and slow-cooked rabbit stew – the Read More